Vaccines - When Is It Enough?

Updated on July 14, 2010
C.H. asks from Stoystown, PA
27 answers

I have been having some doubts about the Vaccines my children are receiving. I believe that Vaccines help to prevent the spread of terrible diseases, I also believe that there are unsafe, unnatural ingredients in these Vaccines. So what to do? My 15 month old daughter has had 23 immunizations so far. 23! That's more than the amount of months she has been alive!! When is it enough? How many times do these Vaccines have to be given to offer protection. Because every time she is getting one I have no idea what they are injecting her with. Are any of the ingredients linked to problems later? Like allergies or diseases like cancer, etc. Now my 5 year old is ready for kindergarten and they are telling me she has to have all these boosters. I thought she was already protected. My healthy 82 year old mother-in-law and mother of 9 children could not believe the amount of immunizations my baby has had already. I believe in protecting my children from danger but I'm not sure I am by getting these vaccines that have some of the most toxic things in them (aluminum, Formaldehyde, Aspartame, Mercury). So anyway when do you finally say ENOUGH!?

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answers from Cleveland on

While I don't believe vaccines are perfect and would never allow a LIVE vaccine (ie. inhaled through nose, we go with the dead shot), IF the Prevnar vaccine HAD been available when my daughter was born, she wouldn't have gotten pneumococcal meningitis which nearly killed her and resulted in severe learning disabilities we have struggled with through school since (she is now 16).

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answers from Johnstown on

OMGosh--I just looked up all 3 of my girls' records and they all have only had 25 total--including the triple and quadruple doses of the same vaccine--the absolutely mandatory ones for them to go to public school around here. My oldest is 9 and my twins are 5 1/2...If I were you--I'd stop right now.

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answers from Atlanta on

Hi C.,

Research the laws in PA on vaccinations. I homeschool in one state and have an umbrella school in another and all I need is a written statement.that vaccinations contradict my beliefs. Whether there is any religious belief there or not, you certainly believe that they have had enough. This is America. You are not required.

I said enough on my oldest's 3rd birthday. My second child has never had a vaccination. They are both healthy, never catching colds or flus. PROVEN:The blood brain barrier for a small child is not as strong as an adult. PROVEN: The vascular system carries everything in it to every organ of the body. ANY doctor, researcher or not, will tell you that. Whether the "disease" they are injected with is dangerous to the brain or not, the synthetic chemicals that you mentioned, along with others, are dangerous.

The most common argument I hear from "pro" vaccination people is that my kids will get their kids sick. How can that be if mine don't get sick? They are riding on the coattails of someone else who has made that leap. I stopped cold turkey with my now 18 year old. She's fine. If anyone thinks this is genetic you should look at my medical records. I was the sickest kid in my school, in and out of hospitals all my life. Everything is related, everything.

C., you are the Mom God gave these children to. You research and you decide as a thinking woman what is best for your kids. If you want a pediatrician you can find one that won't force these on your daughter, even if you have to drive a few more miles.

God bless,


10 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I'm in a little different position, my kids are almost 20 and almost 16 YEARS!

Up until about 5 years ago or so, both kids have had everything recommended, except flu shots. None of us have ever had a flu shot!
As a traditionally trained RN (with over 25 years experience), I often tell people that I do believe in the benefits of some vaccines but worry about the overall need/safety and efficacy of ALL vaccines! And I believe you have every right and should be asking these questions! Good for you!

If I had small kids right now, I would be asking more questions. I would flat out refuse a few and at the very least seek a doc who agreed to a delayed schedule.

I do question the allergies and illness and wonder not only about the increase in the # of vaccines, but also environmental hazards and chemicals in or food products. I can tell you that when I started nursing in the early 80's childhood cancer was very rare.
Yes, as one poster said, there are toxins in our water, sweeteners in food (which I don't buy or consume knowingly) BUT not in the concentrations of the vaccines!

I also think the Dr. Sears books and website are a great source. OK, so he may have an employee update the website, but I have met him personally and know that he does put a lot of research and thought into his projects. AND I trust a man and his integrity who has raised 8 children of his own and continues to have a very successful practice for many years side by side with his nurse wife and now practices with 2 or 3 of his sons.

The website someone mentioned is also a great resources.

Bottom line, again as so many others have said, YOU need to read and research and do what is best for YOUR family. Once you make that decision, either way, do not apologize. Continue to read and ask questions.

In good health,

Lori K

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

This is the answer I gave a month or so back to a similar question, but my opinions haven't changed at all:

Only you can answer that. You will get a different answer for every responder on here.

We do selective and delayed vaccinations so almost none of the recommended vaccinations are done on time in our house.

You need to decide, on your own, after good research, what vaccinations you feel you want for your children and which ones you don't. And then make a schedule for those.

Check out Dr. Sears and his insights on vaccinations. I like him because he is very middle of the road. Not really pro, not really con, but pretty much down the middle. He offers alternative schedules to the traditional ones. Here's a link.

Don't let either side scare you. This is a very passionate topic and you will probably get those that tell you your child will die if you don't get every shot on time and you will get those telling you that your child will die if you do get any shots anytime ever. So, take them all with a grain of salt and come to your own conclusions.

I agree that it seems like a lot. If you decide to continue to vaccinate, then talk to your doctor about delaying or staggering the vaccinations so that your child isn't getting all of them at once. That should be something that your doctor, conservative or not, will be willing to do for you.

And of course you should listen to doctor's OPINIONS! It is all opinion until something is proven fact and even if it is "proven", another study will come along proving a different "fact". If you educate yourself and ask thoughtful questions, the opinions you will get will be valuable. Just take them all into consideration and make a decision that is right for your family.

Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi C.,

I would definitely recommend doing some research on vaccines and fully educating yourself on what vaccines your child gets. You want to know what's going into their bodies, right?

Also, have your daughter's titers tested to see if she even needs those boosters. She could have full immunity and not even need them. I don't think it is covered by your insurance, but worth the money if you don't want her to have unnecessary vaccines.

I was looking in my baby book the other day and I think I got 5 vaccines and their boosters. Wow, I'm (28yrs old).

Anyways, the more informed you are the better (although reading all this information is exhausting and will always have you hoping you made the right decision about anything).

I don't plan on giving my son the Hep A or Chicken Pox vaccine. If you read about Hep A it does not cause permanent liver damage, like Hep B. And as far as Chicken Pox goes, well I'll just wait and see if my son catches it and if he doesn't by a certain age then maybe I'll give it to him (cause the disease can be harmful to adults).

Good luck with your decision!
This is my favorite vaccine website:

Oh and one last thing, you can google the vaccine product insert and view it as a pdf, for example type in mmr product insert. That's the ingredient list that comes with the vaccine packaging. The MMR insert is about 8 pages long and I read the whole thing, very interesting. I'm sure you can google any vaccine.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I'm so glad that adults are waking up to see that this crazy vaccination situation in our country is over the top. You are right to be concerned. You are right to research it. Read, read, read. Then, read some more. Find out what you are injecting yoru daughter with and *then* decide what you want to do about it. We supposedly give informed consent to vaccinations, but none of us are really informed by the doctors. Do they give an ingredients list? Were you ever shown a package insert? Probably not. I have had to educate our doctors about what is in these things (like aborted baby tissue/DNA in many of them). They had no clue. It's right there in the package inserts. Aluminum is a huge contributor to Alzheimer's. In vaccines, as you mentioned. Oh, I could go on and on, but I won't. (Feel free to email me privately if you want websites or more information.) I have spent years studying this topic. We used to vaccinate, but don't anymore. Our youngest children who have had no vaccinations have the best immune system. They are very healthy! Good for you for asking!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Sarasota on

Ask your Doctor to perform a antibody titer test. This will tell you if re-vaccination is necessary. If re-vaccination needs to be performed than split them up. 2-3 virus' at a time.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We are on a modified extended schedule. Not entirely Sears, but not the current recommended schedule. Many people are doing this so your pediatrician shouldn't be surprised when you ask. They recommend more vaccinations now than they ever did, even more now than when my stepkids were small. My daughter is up to date (except for the MMR, on a technicality, but the pediatrician and I decided she can wait). Where it's been possible to split a mixed vaccine we do. Where it's not (they no longer make the MMR as seperate parts, which I think is stupid), we do that one just on its own. I think that having combo shots is misleading. There could be 4 vaccinations in that one shot. More visits? Sure. Peace of mind? Yes. I personally think that vaccines are important, but you need to prioritize them, consider them, and do what works for you. If your child is not in daycare, then consider holding off some of the shots til she goes to school, for example. We also had some shots done because we travel and we live in an international area. We chose to get some of her vax because of where we live. If I lived back where I grew up (tiny midwestern town), I might not have done so. I don't think vaccines are all or nothing. You just have to get informed and have an ongoing discussion with her doctor.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

Don't vaccinate! So many people think that vaccines stop the spread of disease when they actually don't even work. Whenever an outbreak occurs, the majority of the people with the disease are the ones who were vaccinated. Go to Dr. Tenpenny's fan page on facebook and become a fan. Ask this same question and you will get the facts and they will make you feel better and tell you what you need to know. Vaccines don't work. Doctors are slowly learning that the parent's concerns are right. I just tell people it's against my beliefs and that I don't want dead aborted fetus being injected into my kids. That's right ABORTED FETUS! That's just sad and gross. Kids who are unvaccinated are much more healthy and better able to fight off disease than a vaccinated kid. Please check out Dr. Tenpenny's page. I was worried about this topic for so long until I found her. Now I'm 100% against vaccines and don't worry about my child anymore getting these diseases (which aren't as bad as people make them out to be). There's so much to learn about this.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Flagstaff on

I have 4 boys. The oldest 2 have had all their vaccinations, then the whole swine flu debacle made me do some research. All I can say is do your research and come to your own decisions.

For myself, what convinced me the most against vaccinations was the website for the CDC and the FDA. When they say something is safe but admit they have never researched it, makes me suspect whether they have my health in mind or the drug companies.

Read the inserts and see what the company recommends and what the govt recommends.

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answers from Cincinnati on

Give your 5-year-old a blood test to check her immunity against the diseases she has already been vaccinated for. If you have medical documentation that she is still immune, she will not require additional boosters in order to go into school. The boosters are provided because the immunity wears some kids. And since a blood test is more expensive and, for some parents, more objectionable than the shots, they simply booster everyone. For ME (a personal decision) the toxicity is a bigger deal than the blood test, and I plan to have my child tested instead of putting all of those toxins in his body again.

Read "The Vaccine Book" by Dr. Robert Sears. It contains all the ingredients in each of the vaccines (updated information can be found on his website in instances that have changed since the book was published) as well as the risks of each vaccine (for example, HepA carries a mild risk of seizures for children under the age of 2), and the risks of NOT giving the vaccines (we do not have the ability to cure polio, which is extremely rare in the U.S. but more likely in other countries). Dr. Sears is pro-vaccine (so am I) but agrees, as you do, that most parents DON'T KNOW what they are injecting into their children's bodies! And ignorance can be dangerous.

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

you don't have to get them all! like you, i do believe in SOME vaccinations, but i also think your instinct that your baby is getting way over-exposed to toxicity is bang on. research and decide which ones are must-haves and put your foot down (or postpone) the rest.
stick up for your babies!

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answers from Indianapolis on

The CDC's website is a good recommendation as is, the website for the American Academy of Pediatrics,, and where most of the available clinical information is posted. But, if you don't have a clinical background, the clinical nature of the information can be a little overwhelming.

A few months ago, the physician who wrote the article linking vaccines to autism was stripped of his medical licence indefinitely for falsifying information.

I'd stay away from websites like that are the opinion of his team vs. medical consensus.
Have a talk with your pediatrician, express your concerns, ask why they're given the way they are (the body has to build immunity by small doses of the vaccines at a time creating the appropriate antibodies), and ask how you can alter the schedule.

I recently read a blog by a female pediatrician questioning her own children's vaccinations. She chose to spread them out instead of refusing them. Here's an interesting blog from, a compilation of physician's blogs, a recent post about vaccine research:

You can always go to and look-up pediatric vaccines in the search field to see what clinical information you find. Sort by date to find the most current information.

At the end of the day, the jury is out, but the overwhelming evidence is that vaccinations are vastly more critical than non-vaccinations.

Good luck with your decision.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I was recently speaking with a friend who does not get her child vaccinated. She informed me that here in PA you do not have to get a child vaccinated by law. They make you believe that you do, but you just have to go to a lawyer and get some papers signed saying that you are choosing not to have the vaccines done. Then they can go to school.
I don't know how accurate this information is, but I do recommend looking into ot if you are deadset against it.
I personally need to become more informed about what vaccines my babies are getting too. I hate doing it. Especially the chickenpox vaccine that as of next year they are going to require a booster to that one too. I just don't think they are all necessary.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Pick and choose which one's you want to give her. When she gets school aged it might be harder but it has been done. I vaccinate, with the exception of the H1N1, but lots of moms choose not to get all of them. Just beware that the ones that are combined usually can not be given seperate (MMR).
I also wanted to say that there are no treatments for some of the things kids are vaccinated against besides common "fever-reducers." Also, when you have to be medically treated there are additives to most medicines, just like the vaccines.
I am not telling you to vaccinate and I am not telling you to not vaccinate. I suggest you research the individual vaccines (pro's and con's) to see which you feel comfortable with and which one's you don't, and if your child might end up with something you didn't vaccinate against, what the course of treatment is.
Not to freak you out or anything, but there is mercury in the water, aspartame can be found in such simple products as instant breakfast drinks/sugar-free gum/diet soda/laxatives/vitamin supplments/wine coolers/yogurt, aluminum can be used for water purification/ant-acids/paper products/cosmetics, and formaldehyde (when combined with other chemicals) can be used as a topical for warts and urinary tract infections. It's sort of like watching those specials on TV about swabbing all the places in your house to see just how dirty it is (even though you clean everyday). =) Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

The Dr. Sears Vaccine Book is a good resource for finding out exactly what is in vaccines. He even has alternative schedules you could choose if you think vaccines are important, but are loathe to give everything they make. I delayed a lot of vaccines for my kids with the idea of catching them up closer to school. My kids have also never been to daycare and were/are breastfed for 2 years. So I felt comfortable holding off.

I found too, in Florida, if you get certain vaccines later on that you can skip all the doses. Like getting 3 doses instead of 4 doses of something if they get the 3rd one after they're 4 years old. I don't get anything that's not required by law for school either. So you might want to look up your states requirements and just get the ones necessary to start school. Good luck deciding how to handle such a controversial subject. Everyone always has an opinion.

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answers from Allentown on

Hi, C.:

Call your local health department to get the information about immunizations.
Call the doc's office and get a copy of your baby's immunization record.

Do a comparison and make a decision based on your information. Your local health department gives immunizations.

Hope this helps. Good luck. Thanks for caring about your baby's health.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

My best advice is to get The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears. He gives you unbiased, educated information. He writes the pros and cons of each vaccine, the way they are made, the risks, etc. He, allows you as the parent, to make the decisions. My husband and I have chosen to follow an alternative vaccine schedule with our children, so they wouldn't be given so many in such a short period of time. If you want we can discuss this further.

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answers from Seattle on

In my state we can sign a waiver for three reasons when our child is ready for school, that way they don't have to be caught up. Have you read dr. Sears vaccine book? He talks about spacing out shots rather than doing so many at a time, that might make you feel better about it. My favorite website for information on ingredients, vaccines, and likelihood of catching the diseases is, his book is called the sanctity of human blood. There are people who don't vaccinate at all, and many who space them out, so you're not alone in your concerns!



answers from Allentown on

My son is going into Kindergarten also and I received a note from the nurse that he received a vaccine too early and the Board of Health won't recognize it. It was given to him 2 months earlier than they request. I contacted the Board of Health and they told me to request a waiver from the school for him for immunizations. I was NOT going to inject him again on someones error. See if you can do that. Many kids go to school with no immunizations at all.



answers from Erie on

In the end it is your choice when to stop. I am having my son get them all because since parents out there aren't getting their kids vaccinated diseases are coming back that they can be protected against with a vaccine. With your daughter needing boosters the only thing I can think of is that your doctor did the shots to early. I was told that when I registered my son for kindergarten the one shot was a few months to early for when it was supposed to be given so he would have to get a booster. luckily it was just a computer mistake at the doctors office. so I would ask why she needs the boosters and if it's like my case double check with your doctors office the time they were given.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm going to start out by saying I have a doctorate in public health, am a certified health education specialist, and used to work at CDC-- so interpret what I have to say as you will.

My child is fully vaccinated, though we did it closer on the Sears schedule. I too worry about the components of vaccines and the sheer number of them given-- HOWEVER-- and to me, this is the deciding factor-- to live in a civilized society we must not only make decisions to benefit ourselves, but also consider others. By vaccinating, I protect not only my child from vaccine-preventable illnesses, but all children, including those who can not be vaccinated for a variety of reasons, and those for whom the vaccines do not work 100% effectively.

I highly recommend Dr. Sears' Vaccine Book-- not because I totally agree with him, but because I think it is an approachable way for non-medical or public health people to get educated about the issue. I urge you to do your on research from a variety of reliable sources-- a website does not make somebody reliable. Ask questions. Most pediatricians are not doing a very good job of communicating with their patients, but the patients are not doing their part of the bargain either-- seeing something on Oprah does not make it fact.

As far as the mercury goes, there is no reason for a child to get a mercury containing vaccine-- they're have been mercury-free alternatives for 5+ years now (and yet the autism rates have not gone down, which is another huge piece of evidence that mercury in vaccines was NOT a contributing factor in the epidemic). And you have to remember that Formaldehyde is in so many things. Aluminum is in vaccines in toxic amounts, but the evidence is that the body clears it from the system very rapidly (the aluminum is one of the big reasons I break up vaccines-- though I don't really know if 1 HUGE dose of mercury is better or worse than multiple just-really-big doses).

In short, given the amount of toxins are kids are exposed to in their food (even the organics now are being shown to have toxins), the cheap Chinese junk toys they have, the furniture in our houses, the clothes they wear, the toxins in vaccines seem like a good bargain to me. Not only might they save your child's life, they might save mine.


answers from Philadelphia on

Like others, I wholeheartedly recommend The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears. I had all of your same concerns as a new mom and this book helped me make choices that I felt comfortable with. I didn't vaccine my son for anything until he was 2 months old and then did no more than 2 vaccines per visit. If he was due for 4 vaccines at a visit, I would schedule another appt a few weeks later for the remaining 2. My pediatrician was very accepting although I got the impression that the nurses thought I was a P.I.T.A. - who cares. It's your kid and you have to make choices that feel right for your family. Best of luck!



answers from Pittsburgh on

There are no easy answers to these questions, especially for your baby. All you can do is think about all the sides of the issue, try to be educated (and not be swayed by reactionary people on both sides) and make the decision that is best for you and your family.

For booster shots for your older child, please take your concerns to your doctor. For the 5 year old booster shots, you do have the option of having some blood drawn to test whether your daughter already has immunity. If she does, you don't need to have the boosters done because you'll know she already has protection against those diseases. You just need to take the paperwork showing her immunity to the school, because they will ask before she starts kindergarten. If she doesn't have immunity, your doc will want her to get the boosters - but at least you'll know she's getting them because she needs them.

I just did this for my 4 year old, and he had really great immunity already against chickenpox and all 3 of the MMR viruses, so he didn't have to get boosters for any of those.


answers from Williamsport on

You need to be at peace with what you have already done. Not all kids are harmed by vaccines. That said, you can stop at any time. I vaccinated my 1st all the way like the dutiful parent-didn't miss a shot. She's absolutely fine at 4 1/2. When my second came along, I gave him his first set, and then some scary news stories came out, I did lots and LOTS of research, and realized how many more bad things are in the vaccines than when we were kids, and how many more they give now.

I'll believe vaccines are not related to the autism explosion when they prove what is, just like I'll believe someone else killed Nicole Simpson when they prove someone other than O.J. did it. I discontinued his shots cold turkey. I haven't vaccinated our third. We don't want to push our luck. We'll continue at a limited rate when school starts. Not every tiny infant can tolerate that deluge of toxic vaccines just like not every single child can eat peanuts.

At this point in history damages from vaccines are much more likely than any of the diseases they prevent-(thanks to vaccines the diseases are at bay, I know)- but until they clean up the shots, they can't blame people for not vaccinating and putting the population at risk for bringing back outbreaks. I'm also appalled a the dishonesty of the industry misleading people with the "They aren't a proven link" message. They also aren't proven NOT to be a link. Especially with the new toxic ingredients they've used to replace the mercury (which they said was safe until it wasn't), none of which have been tested long term for the cumulative effect of all the shots added together.
Anyway, your baby is fine. My first is fine. You can stop whenever you want. Try not to worry!



answers from Lancaster on

You have a topic that many will have vastly different opinions on. Yes, our children receive alot more vaccines than before - technology and research have brought more around than before. Yes, there were problems with them - the big one you hear about is the "mercury"(thimerasol (sp)) in the vaccine - it was used as a preservative - it has since been removed and they are manufactured differently. With every pro - there is a con - with almost everything in life. Children can have reactions to the vaccines - but they have also contributed to virtually erradicating many deadly diseases. We have noticed the return of some of these diseases popping up from unvaccinated individuals (not only from our country but from others entering our country and from not being vaccinated in theirs). Not all are required - some are just recommended. I chose to vaccinate my children for protection - such a simple way to protect them that many others can not offer their children - my mother was a pediatric RN working at many big hospitals in her career - I know what is out there.

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